Every so often, we wind up with an Achievement that lingers on our list for more than a season, for one reason or another. This was the case with Rib Fest, which I think has been on our list 3 years in a row now. If I remember correctly, by the time Labor Day weekend rolled around the past two years, we’d been eating way too much to go to a food festival. But this year, it was GAME ON!
Turns out, the Rib Fest is really not our scene.
Rib Fest is part of the Steelers ‘kick-off’ (which also features a 5k run… smart, if you’re going to be eating at Rib Fest!), so it’s hosted down at Heinz Field, and it looks like the Big Butler Fair’s little brother moved in on Art Rooney Avenue.
We didn’t really know what to expect, since it is hard to find info online about Rib Fest. Here’s what we learned: it’s $7.00 to park, but admission is free. You pay to eat what you want. And this is where we got grumpy.
That, in my hand, is the smallest serving of ribs you can get. And the lowest price it can be is apparently $7.00 (I know we love Ben Roethlisberger, but all the 7s were starting to give me a complex lol).
I think my goal, in visiting a rib festival (which has contests for ‘best ribs’ and ‘best sauce’ and all of that!) is to try a taste of ribs from as many different vendors as possible. But for $7 a pop, it just wasn’t realistic. There were at least 10 vendors (or more), and that would have been $70 just to try a taste of them, let alone drinks or funnel cakes or anything else festival-y!
In the end, we chose two places to try ribs from. First was the Chicago Barbeque Company (those were the ribs in the above picture, and the sauce on Michael’s face in the second shot lol). These ribs were good, but a little heavy on the BBQ sauce. (It turns out that I also do not know how to eat ribs, apparently.)
They had a sauce station! I appreciated this, because I will eat pretty much anything in Carolina Gold sauce (doubly true for BBQ Stu’s Pennsylvania Gold sauce – YUM).
But I think it’s safe to say that we won’t need a return visit to Rib Fest. Standing outside in the heat eating messy, pricey ribs is not really high on my list of fun. Should I find myself craving this scene, I think I’ll settle for a side of ribs with my elephant ear at the Big Butler Fair.